President Donald Trump of America says to quote," America is First". His detractors in America say that to quote , "Isolationism is not good". Unquote.
Actually in modern times, I cannot find an instance where major countries of the world did not put their interest before that of any other country. Look at the ongoing world situations. Self national interests is not Isolationism. World power politics is never such simplicity.
America is still fighting an oil war in the Middle East for herself. Britain is withdrawing from European Union in her own interest. China is protecting her interest in the South China Sea. India puts herself first in SAARC region. Russia is protecting her interest in the Mediterranean region. All these are putting self nation first. But only Donald Trump comes out in public and declares he is pursuing a policy of "America first".
Other smaller nations would like to put their interest first, too. But they lack the political and economic muscle. Even our Kings have always put Bhutan first but because of our lack of political and economic clout, it takes time to achieve national goals in world Politics. What China and India can achieve in a year, it takes Bhutan more than a generation. From the very beginning of his reign, His Majesty King Jigme Singye Wangchuck realised that 1949 Indo- Bhutan Treaty needed to be amended. What happened to Sikkim and her Chogyal shook Bhutan and the Bhutanese Monarchy Institution to the core of existence. Only towards the end of his 34 years reign, the King succeeded in getting the Indo- Bhutan 1949 Treaty amended to reflect the political reality that Bhutan must conduct her foreign Policy as a sovereign nation and not under the guidance of India. A monumental achievement that took monumental time and such tenacity that only a great Triple Gem King can demonstrate.
During Bhutan's General Election of 2013 and thereafter, Prime Minister Jigmi Yoeser Thinley was attacked for meeting the Chinese Premier. I never waivered in my stand that Bhutan must have friendlier relationships with China. It was never and can never be about China replacing India. For Bhutan, Indo- Bhutan friendship relationship cannot be replaced. However, no nation small or large can ignore China of today. And especially for Bhutan and the way our national geography is positioned, it would be suicidal for any Bhutanese leaderships to do away with raprochment policy with China. Today I am glad that contact between China and Bhutan have increased. Our Prime Minister His Excellency Tshering Tobgay even shook hands with the President of China. And our SAARC neighbours especially India seem understand the positive outcome for regional peace and stability in recognising the enevitable modern reality of Chinese position.
Every nation has its national interest first in the ultimate game of sovereignty. It is important that each adult citizen rise above narrow political prejudice and be with the Government in reign to follow this path. As responsible citizens of a small and landlocked Kingdom, we have to exercise more patience and deeper faith in the ways of our national leaderships.